Friends and readers know that one of my favorite movies of all time is Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” starring the singular, incredible Jimmy Stewart. Another all time fave is Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” from 1954. Stewart plays a professional photographer, Jeff Jeffries, who has recently broken his leg and is not only stuck in a wheelchair, but also his tiny apartment. He passes the slow and necessary healing time <ahem> in between visits from his glamorous girlfriend (played by Grace Kelly) and his nurse, by watching his neighbors across the courtyard. He begins to nickname them and know some of their habits, and then in true Hitchcockian fashion, there’s a dead dog and then a dead woman. It’s a FANTASTIC movie – from Jeff’s observations of his neighbors’ idiosyncrasies, to the sheer terror of witnessing a murder and knowing who did it, wrapped up in the suspense of the confines of the full leg cast.
The camera work still stands up today as being sharp and innovative and exciting. I cannot look out one window and into another without thinking of “Rear Window.” As I have been playing with my iPhone camera more and more, and using Instagram to help me tweak the images, also known as editing (makes me sounds like I know what I am doing, but really, uh, no) and my participation the past month in the online photo class called Two Takes with the Shutter Sisters, well, I have been having a lot of “Rear Window” moments. (See two of those at the end of the post.)
As is the cosmic glitter of new and re-discovery getting stuck to your brain, “Rear Window” of course sparkled up yesterday in my news feeds in the form of this genius time lapse of the courtyard scenes in under three minutes. It is absolutely gorgeous and creative and inspiring and totally f’ing cool. Please check it out and if you have not seen the real film, Netflix that bad boy. I bet it’s in a lot of queues about now.
My perspectives below.